Reds Insider
From news of the day to news of the weird, John Fay provides a glimpse of what it’s like to cover the Cincinnati Reds

John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Astros 10, Reds 2

The Reds' winning streak ended at three games. Bronson Arroyo isn't buying the theory that those two high-pitch outings on the West Coast have anything to do with his recent struggles.

Arroyo went five innings Thursday night, allowing eight runs on 11 hits. He's 0-2 with a 16.36 ERA in his three starting since throwing 129 pitches in the San Diego. He threw 117 in the start before that in L.A.

“It’s completely (coincidence),” he said. “Tonight, I felt as good as I've felt this season by far. I had good velocity, a good breaking ball, good command. When you go through a stretch like this, sometimes you don’t get the luck or whatever you want to call it.”

Arroyo is big on the long-season theory -- even when he's going good.

“I've had 12 starts and I've had three bad ones,” he said.

But he admits it’s hard not to shake things up.

“That’s the hardest thing about being in a bad stretch in baseball,” he said. “Not to change things, (knowing) that the results aren't always an indication of how you’re feeling or how you throw the ball.”

“The other guys get paid for a reason, too. Sometimes you get beat around the yard.”

More on Freel

Now, it's clear that Ryan Freel is going OK long-term after the scary collision Monday, you probably want to know when he'll be back.

I don't think anyone knows. But my guess is it will be well after he's eligible for come of the disabled.

The trainers and doctors can't talk under the collective bargain agreement. Jerry Narron was asked if the Reds had anyway way of know how long Freel might be out.

"No idea," he said.

GM Wayne Krivsky said Freel's still "nauseous, with head pain and dizziness."

Those are the symptoms of concussion. Paul Daugherty did a column on Freel last summer after one of face plans on warning track. One of the things Freel said is "I've had plenty of concussions."

Given the concern about post-concussion syndrome these days, Freel could be out an extended time.

Ticket kiosk opening in Kenwood

From the Reds: Tomorrow afternoon the Cincinnati Reds will celebrate the grand opening of a new ticket kiosk at the Kenwood Towne Centre food court.

The kiosk will allow fans to purchase and print tickets on site, order tickets or pick up tickets previously purchased on a credit card. It is the first ticket kiosk outside Great American Ball Park's Crosley Terrace.

At the Kenwood Towne Centre from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. tomorrow, Bill Cunningham of 700 WLW Radio will give away 1,000 American flags, compliments of the KTC, while the Reds will give away 40 field level seats to their upcoming June 15-17 series against the Texas Rangers and other prizes.

Joining the festivities at the Kenwood Towne Centre will be former Red Tracy Jones, the Reds' MDX Crew and mascot Mr. Redlegs.

He was robbed

Adam Dunn did not know until this afternoon that when he advanced to second in the first inning of Wednesday's game, it was ruled a caught stealing, E3. "That's brutal," he said. "I'm pissed. I really am." Dunn was 7-for-7 before the CS. He had not been caught in 15 attempts dating back to May 20, 2005. "I still haven't been caught," he said. "I was safe." The scorer assumed that Dunn, who broke on the Wandy Rodriguez's throw over, would have been out at second with a good throw. Dunn, it should be noted, was making his complaints in a good-natured way.

Freel update

From the Reds:

Ryan Freel today was examined by head and spine specialist Dr. John Brannan.

Dr. Brannan recommended rest and limited activity.

Freel will be examined again next week.

Freel spent Monday night at The Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati after suffering contusions to the head and neck following a collision with RF Norris Hopper in the third inning of the Reds’ game that afternoon against the Pirates. He was released from the hospital on Tuesday.

Livingston, unless . . .

Rob Butcher just sent today's Reds notes out. He said the club will announce Friday's starter later today. Bobby Livingston is probably the guy. But it seemed odd that it just wouldn't be announced in the email.

Jerry Narron said Livingston will be the guy if he's not needed tonight.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Reds 4, Astros 3

The parade past to Fountain Square to celebrate the Reds' third straight victory starts at noon. Wear Red.

Just kidding. But the Reds have, indeed, won three straight. That's going to happen when your starters go 9 innings, 7 2/3 innings and 9 innings.

"We were getting on (Matt) Belisle for only going 7 2/3," said Aaron Harang, Wednesday's winner.

Harang was in one of Jerry Narron's favorite words: Outstanding. He threw the complete game, six hits, two earned runs, no walks, seven strikeouts.

The defensive star was Edwin Encarnacion. He made three nice plays. The one in the eighth on a smash by Lance Berkman should make SportsCenter.

"It makes me feel good to make a play like that in a close game," Encarnacion said.

He's made no errors in the 12 games since he's returned from Triple-A.

Norris Hopper went 3-for-4 and scored two of the four runs. He even walked for the first time this season .

Narron ejected

Jerry Narron was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the first inning. Alex Gonzalez fell behind 0-2. Narron and home plate ump Bill Welke went back and forth.

Thus inspired, Gonzalez singled in Norris Hopper, who led off the game with a double. Ken Griffey, then doubled in Gonzalez. It's 2-0 with no outs in the first.

It was Narron's second ejection of the year. He got thrown out May 20 in the Cleveland. He's been ejected six times in his time with the Reds -- once as a coach and five times as manager.

The Natural II (update)

Josh Hamilton homered in his first at-bat for Louisville against Wednesday night. He also homered in his second at-bat Wednesday. He made an out him third time up.

Guess here is he's in Denver Sunday.

Johnny Narron with Hamilton

Johnny Narron is with Josh Hamilton on his minor league rehab in Charlotte. Is that baseball-related or off-the-field?

"Both," Jerry Narron said. "But it's no big deal."

Johnny Narron is the major league video/administrative coach, but the Reds have made no secret of the his role with Hamilton. The Reds do have another video guy, Jeff Graupe, who travels with the team. Johnny Narron will be with the Louisville club until Hamilton returns to the big leagues.

Brandon Phillips is out of the lineup tonight. Juan Castro is playing second. David Ross is back in after missing a game with the flu.

Has the luck changed?

I didn't see the this stat till this morning, but Carlos Lee was batting .600 (3-for-5, with eight RBI and a sac fly) with the bases loaded going into his at-bat Tuesday night. And he hit in a game-ending double play -- a double play that Alex Gonzalez stumbled while making.

Those are the kind of plays that have been going the other way for the Reds lately.

Freel update

From the Reds:

Ryan Freel is spending today resting comfortably at home.

He will not be examined today by head and spine specialist Dr. John Brannan. That examination will be rescheduled in the next few days.

Freel spent Monday night at The Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati after suffering contusions to the head and neck following a collision with RF Norris Hopper in the third inning of the Reds’ game that afternoon against the Pirates. He was released from the hospital yesterday.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Reds 2, Astros 1

Just when you thought the Reds could go a month without winning two in a row, they pull out a nice win of over the Astros -- the team that has beaten them silly this year.

This was one that could have easily gotten away. Scott Hatteberg messed up a hit-and-run in the eighth, leading to Norris Hopper getting throw out at second. But before the Reds could absorb the feeling of deflation, Hatteberg hit a home run.

"I pride myself in being able to do that," he said. "The pitch was so bad I couldn't make my body swing. I screwed up. I'm glad I was able to make up for it."

The ninth was an adventure on to itself. David Weathers got Mike Lamb to hit a groundball. Brandon Phillips booted it. Morgan Ensberg sacrificed Lamb over. But Weathers walked Mark Loretta and Lance Berkman. That brought up Carlos Lee, the league leader in RBI. He hit a grounder to shortstop Alex Gonzalez. Gonzalez fell down as he fielded it, but he was able to crawl to second and throw Lee out. If Lee's just reasonably slow instead of really slow, it's a tie game. But for one night, the baseball gods were on the Reds side. Astros fans really thought so on the out call at home on Adam Everett as he tried to go for an inside-the-park home run.

Nonetheless, the Reds have won two in a row for the first time this month.

"Huge, huge," Matt Belisle said. "We can feed on the energy and momentum."

Belisle went 7 2/3 innings and gave up the one run on four hits. He struck out a career-high eight and walked none.

The Reds have Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo going the next two nights.

The Natural homers; Ross scratched

Josh Hamilton homered to LF on the first pitch from Shaun Babula in the Louisville's game with Charlotte.

And David Ross scratched from tonight's lineup. The old flu-like symptoms.

Only the names are different

This a link to a column on the Astros that appeared in the Houston Chronicle today. It reads a lot like what's been written about the Reds lately:


Friday's starter

The Reds still are listing TBA for Friday's starter. Jerry Narron said it will be Bobby Livington, Victor Santos or "someone at Louisville."

The someone at Louisville is probably Phil Dumatrait. Homer Bailey pitched yesterday, so he'd be on short rest Friday.

Bailey's numbers (5-1, 1.89 ERA, 32 hits in 52 1/3 innings) say he's dominating at AAA. Dumatrait's numbers (5-3, 3.08, 48 hits in 52 2/3 innings) are good but not in Bailey's class.

Freel update; Wise brought up

From the Reds: Ryan Freel is scheduled to be released from the hospital this afternoon but won’t see the head and neck specialist until tomorrow.

The Reds selected the contract of OF Dewayne Wise from Class AAA Louisville and placed on the 15-day disabled list OF Ryan Freel. Wise will wear uniform number 15.

Minor league report: Homer shines

Homer Bailey: 7 IP, 5 hits, 1 runs, 0 walks, 9 KS. He's 5-1 with a 1.89 ERA.

This from Jamie Ramsey:

4 games - 4 wins for the Reds minor league teams…Louisville beats Charlotte…Homer Bailey was lights out...Chris Dickerson with 4 hits…Johnny Cueto gets the start tonight for the Bats…Lookouts win a pitchers’ duel…Richie Gardner was sensational, again…Luis Bolivar with 3 hits…Sarasota had the day off…Travis Wood pitches tonight for the SaraReds …The Dragons sweep a doubleheader vs. South Bend…Eddie Guardado pitches a scoreless inning of relief…Justin Turner swinging a hot bat…Juan Francisco homers.

Pitching totals from last night: 4-0, 1.69era, 32ip, 22h, 6r/6er, 13bb, 28k

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sarasota’s B.J. Szymanski was today named Florida State League Player of the Week for 5/21-5/27

April: 15-9, 10hr, .267ba, 3.63era
May: 18-8, 27hr, .273ba, 3.19era

Monday, May 28, 2007

Freel hurt (updated)

Reds center fielder Ryan Freel was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital on Monday after tangling with teammate Norris Hopper as both pursued a fly ball in the third inning at Great American Ball Park.
Freel fell hard onto the dirt warning track after catching the fly ball Pirates catcher Humberto Cota hit to right centerfield off Reds starting pitcher Kyle Lohse.
Rob Butcher, the Reds director of media relations, said Freel would undergo scans on his neck and head at the hospital.
“He was coherent when he left the ballpark,” Butcher said. “He does have feeling in all of his extremities.”
CT scans of Freel's head and neck came back normal and he was diagnosed with a contusion to the head and neck. He will be re-evaluated Tuesday.
Freel came to rest on his left side at the base of the right centerfield wall near the 370-foot marker.
Reds manager Jerry Narron and assistant athletic trainer Steve Baumann sprinted from the dugout to the spot where Freel lay motionless.
Second base umpire Adam Dowdy saw the ball in Freel’s glove and signaled Cota out.
Reds medical director, Dr. Timothy Kremchek, and head athletic trainer Mark Mann quickly joined Narron and Bauman on the dirt warning track.
Hopper was uninjured.
The medical personnel stabilized Freel’s neck and slowly rolled him over onto a stretcher. An ambulance backed onto the field and took him to the hospital.
The game against the Pirates resumed after a 13-minute delay.
Ken Griffey Jr., who was not in the starting lineup, came off the bench and played right field. Hopper moved to center field.

Livingston up, Saarloos down

The Reds recalled left-hander Bobby Livingston from Triple-A Louisville before today's game and optioned Kirk Saarloos to Louisville.

The Reds needed a long-relief option out of the bullpen today because Victor Santos pitched 4-1/3 innings after Saarloos failed to record an out in the first inning Sunday.

Saarloos (0-4, 7.74 ERA in two starts and 20 relief appearances) was informed of the decision when he arrived this morning and spoke with reporters before leaving the clubhouse.

"I don't feel like I'm the problem. They need to find answers and I don't feel like I'm the problem. Three bad innings this year. Yesterday. St. Louis (on April 25) and L.A. (on May 13) I felt like other than that, in 20 appearances, I've thrown the ball pretty damn good. Obviously those three appearances is the bed that I'm lying in right now. Numbers are numbers and they feel like I'm the problem, so I'm out of here. So I'm going to go down, pitch and get back here. That's the only thing you can do. You can't be (ticked) off about it even though you are. You can't go down there and show it. You've got to go down there with some class and dignity and pitch."

In those three appearances Saarloos mentioned, he allowed 11 earned runs on 11 hits in just 1/3-inning. Subtract those from his overall numbers this season and he'd be 0-1 with a 2.78 ERA in 19 games.

Here's what manager Jerry Narron had to say about the decision...

"(Livingston) will pitch out of the bullpen for right now. It'll give us some length out there. Santos definitely wouldn't be available probably through (Tuesday). Hopefully we won't need him in that role, but you've got to have some protection out there for sure."

Why Saarloos?

"Early in the year he pitched well for us and had some good outings. He's just been up and down lately. Hoping he can go down and get some consistent work."

What will be his role in Louisville?

"He'll probably be in the bullpen."

What does this do to the rotation?

"We'll make a decision here in a couple days on it."

Reds vs. Pirates, 5-28

Freel, cf
Hatteberg, 1b
Phillips, 2b
Dunn, lf
Encarnacion, 3b
Gonzalez, ss
Hopper, rf
Ross, c
Lohse, rhp

Bautista, 3b
Duffy, cf
Sanchez, 2b
LaRoche, 1b
Bay, lf
Nady, rf
Wilson, ss
Cota, c
Snell, rhp

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pirates 14, Reds 10

I did not witness this debacle in person. And I only watched the first inning while vacuuming my family room. Didn't need to hear the commentators to know this would be a bad day for Redlegs.

I only caught a bit of the rest on radio. Every time I tuned the Reds would score to two to get close. When I tuned back in, the bullpen would have given up two. Example: When we parked in Hyde Park, Adam Dunn had just hit a home run to and Jeff Brantley said the Reds are within 3. During lunch, my wife looks up at TV and says "I think it's 11-6." It was.

Ugly, ugly day. Uglier streak. Going from 13-13 to 18-33 isn't easy.

A lot of people in the organization have said "you don't want to panic." I think you do.

Do something irrational. Bring up Homer Bailey. Bring up Joey Votto.

I know I didn't say fire anyone. I never will. I don't think that's the place of a beat guy.

Forgettable first

Kirk Saarloos' outing is over after the Reds right-hander failed to record an out in the first inning.

The Pirates led 5-0 with runners on first and second when Reds manager Jerry Narron pulled Saarloos and brought in Victor Santos from the bullpen.

Saarloos faced seven batters and allowed three singles, one double, a three-run home run by Jason Bay on a full count and walked two Pirates on full counts. He threw 38 pitches, 24 for strikes.

The first batter Santos faced, Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson, grounded into a double play. The second batter he faced, pitcher Zach Duke, grounded out.

The Reds have now been outscored 50-23 in the first inning this season and 16-1 in the first inning during this homestand.

Reds vs. Pirates, 5-27

Freel, cf
Phillips, 2b
Griffey Jr., rf
Conine, 1b
Encarnacion, 3b
Dunn, lf
Gonzalez, ss
Moeller, c
Saarloos, rhp

Bautista, 3b
Duff, cf
Sanchez, 2b
LaRoche, 1b
Bay, lf
Nady, rf
Paulino, c
Wilson, ss
Duke, lhp

Saturday, May 26, 2007

You be the GM (blog edition)

This is a preview of the what's running in the Sunday paper. It's my annual You Be the GM Insider. We moved it up because of the way the club's playing:

What would you do?

The Reds are obviously in need of a fix.

If you were general manager Wayne Krivsky, what would you do? We pose this question every year. We usually wait until July, but the time is right and the fans are restless.

The first decision you have to make is whether you try to fix things short-term or long-term.

Regardless of whether you try to salvage the season or rebuild for 2008, you have to do it in three moves – my column, my rules. Keep your suggestions brief.

You can post them as comments on my blog.

We’ll run some of the best ones in next Sunday’s paper.

Be realistic. The New York Yankees aren’t going to trade Alex Rodriguez for Edwin Encarnacion and Todd Coffey. The Twins aren’t going to trade Johan Santana for Matt Belisle and Norris Hopper.

The Mets aren’t going to trade Jose Reyes for six minor-leaguers.

Though the season hasn’t made it easy to be a Reds fan, a fire sale can do wonderful things for a franchise. The last time the Reds had one was in the summer of 2003.

Jose Guillen got them three players in ’03, one of whom was Aaron Harang. Kent Mercker got them Belisle. That’s two-fifths of today’s rotation for two players who were going to be free agents.

Have at it.

Another frighful night -- Bucs 9, Reds 5

The Reds loaded the bases in the third, fourth and fifth. They scored one in the third on Adam Dunn's bases-loaded walk and another in the fifth on Jeff Conine's bases-loaded walk. The Pirates scored eight of their nine runs with two outs.

Bronson Arroyo went four innings and gave up the six runs on seven hits. He didn't strike out a batter for the first time in a start sine September of 2005.

Arroyo says he's fine physically. "I walked (Chris) Duffy in the first. I got out the groove. Everything was sloppy. Nothing was crisp."

Five losses in a row, 19 of 24.

Hamilton update; Narron on Votto

It sounds like Josh Hamilton will report to Charlotte Monday to get some at-bats with Louisville. He'll join the Reds the first day of the St. Louis series (Tuesday, June 5).

"I been released to do what I need to do," Hamilton said. "The main thing is getting my wind back."

I asked Jerry Narron if we might see Joey Votto up here in a bench role.

"When you bring a young guy up you hope the circumstances aren't where he's going to sit on the bench," Narron said. "He benefits a lot more from playing everyday in the Triple-A."

Votto went into Saturday on 17-game hitting streak. He's hitting .479 during the streak and .619 over his last five games.

Bray setback

From te Reds:

LHP Bill Bray yesterday was returned from his rehabilitation assignment at FSL Sarasota. He has been on the DL since 4/9 with a small fracture at the tip of his left index finger and had been on rehab assignment with the Sarasota Reds since Sunday.

He has been diagnosed with a mild case of left shoulder tendinitis.

He is expected to pitch in an extended spring training game later next week, but he can’t be sent on another rehabilitation assignment until next Friday (in the event of a second injury, you must wait 7 days to send a player on another rehab assignment).

Friday, May 25, 2007

Pirates 10, Reds 4

It was going so well for the Reds right up until the Pirates scored eight runs in the top of the 10th. You could watch a 1,000 games and never see that.

I talked to Bob Castellini before the game. He sounded down. He has to really down if he saw this one. He reiterated that he isn't thinking aobut changing management.

When you lose by six, it's hard to boil the game down to two plays. But this one turned on two. Scott Hatteberg bunted into a fielder's choice to 9th. "My fault," he said. Jerry Narron was talking about the Reds being second in the NL in sacrifice hits before the game. But there are sacrifices and there are sacrifices. A pitcher getting down a bunt in 4-0 game in the 4th is different than trying to get down a bunt in the 9th off a closer with the winning run at first.

The second play was in the 10th. Nate McLouth got down a bunt with Jack Wilson at first. Chad Moeller threw to second. Wilson was easily safe, thus the gates were open for the melt down.

"That changed the whole inning," Narron said.

The last couple of nights it hasn't been the young players making the mistakes. Moeller, Hatteberg and Jeff Conine all were involved in bunt plays gone bad. Those are veterans who have played for winning clubs.

"This is as bad as I've seen it," Hatteberg said.

Last night's leftovers; Votto smoking

I talked to David Ross today about the play in the eighth inning last night. He wasn't around after the game last night.

"I saw the third baseman go after the ball. I thought I could make it. Then halfway there I saw the pitcher. I knew I was out. Stupid play. My run doesn't mean anything with us down 3. Then Alex (Gonzalez) hits the home run to make me feel worse."

Jeff Conine was told to bunt in the ninth. "I asked him about," Jerry Narron said, "because I had a feeling Brandon Phillips was going to get on. He was fine with bunting." Narron pointed out that while the Reds are ripped for not getting bunts down, they're second in the NL in sacrifice hits. You could look it up.

Joey Votto is tearing it up at Louisville. From Jamie Ramsey:

In April: .192ba, 15-for-78, 12r, 4 doubles, 2hr, 11rbi, 17bb, 23k, .347obp
In May: .425ba, 34-for-80, 17r, 3 doubles, 5hr, 12rbi, 12bb, 12k, .500obp

Votto’s .425 batting average and 52 total bases in May both rank second in the International League.

For a good cause

From the Reds:

CINCINNATI - Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo is going to donate $100 for every strikeout to Homes For Our Troops, an organization that provides homes at no cost to injured or disabled servicemen and servicewomen and their immediate families.

Arroyo will be available to the media Sunday at noon in the field level interview room at Great American Ball Park. He will be joined by John Gonsalves, president and founder of Homes For Our Troops; Glenn Cohen of Gaylord Sports Management; Iraq war veteran Cpl. Bobby Isaacs, who received a home in Roxboro, North Carolina as part of the program; and Sgt. Larry Gill of Homes For Our Troops, who won two Purple Hearts fighting in Vietnam, Beirut, the Persian Gulf and Iraq.

As part of the Homes For Our Troops program, one local serviceman or servicewoman will be selected as the recipient of a new home.

Arroyo's contributions through his Strikeouts For Our Troops program will be donated to the general fund of Homes For Our Troops, which also features the Birdies For The Brave campaign of PGA golfer Phil Mickelson.

In addition to his baseball performance-based donation, Arroyo also will contribute to Homes For Our Troops a portion of the proceeds from this Sunday's 7:00 p.m. concert at the opening of the Lodge Bar on Seventh Street in downtown Cincinnati. Proceeds from that concert also will benefit the Reds Community Fund and its baseball outreach programs.

Tickets to Sunday night's concert are $25 per person with a limited number of VIP passes available for $100 that include the opportunity to meet Arroyo and complimentary food and beverages. For more information on that concert, log on to www.reds.com/arroyoconcert or call (513) 721-9400.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Nationals 4, Reds 3

The cold, hard fact is the Reds have the worst record in the National League and are tied with the Texas Rangers for the worst record in the baseball.

Ouch. I don't see a quick fix. I know that's going to prompt 23 "Fire Narron!" comments. But do you honestly think that would help?

“The Nationals just took the series from us,” losing pitcher Matt Belisle said. “That's hard to take. But Pittsburgh’s coming in. There’s no time to sulk.”

The Reds are on pace to lose 102 games. There has only been one 100-loss season in franchise history.

It was an odd loss, i.e, the crucial play was 4-5-1 double play.

The Reds went to eighth inning trailing 4-1. David Ross led off with laser shot off third baseman Ryan Zimmerman’s glove for a hit. Norris Hopper followed with a bunt for a single. Ryan Freel hit a liner right at second baseman Felipe Lopez. Lopez threw wildly to second trying to double off Ross. Ross broke for second when the ball got away. Zimmerman ran it down and threw to pitcher Mike Bacsik at third to get Ross.

“Right now, our guys are trying so hard and trying to make something happen,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said. “I’m sure (Ross) looked up and nobody was at third and took off.”

I buy that. But once the spiral down starts, it's hard to stop.

Military ticket program extended

From the Reds:
CINCINNATI - In observance of Memorial Day weekend, military personnel can take advantage of the Cincinnati Reds' special ticket program for games Saturday (7:10 p.m.), Sunday (1:15) and Monday (1:15) against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park.

At Crosley Terrace ticket windows 4 through 7 from Saturday through Monday, active or retired military personnel can present military ID at the Great American Ball Park ticket windows for that day's game and receive one free View Level ticket.

Family members accompanying the servicemen or servicewomen will be able to purchase additional View Level tickets for only $3 per ticket.

This program is open to all active and retired military personnel, including those in the reserves.

Belisle feeling good

Tonight's starter Matt Belisle was suffering from the same bug as yesterday's starter Kyle Lohse. That's why they didn't flip them in the rotation. But Belisle looked pretty healthy before the game. "I'm good," he said. The flu-like thing that's been going through the clubhouse is a one- or two-day deal. So Belisle should be close to full strength. Kirk Saarloos had it also. "It's hard to believe that you send three straight guys out there who have been sick," Jerry Narron said

More on Majewski

Jerry Narron was asked where he'll use Gary Majewski.

"Somewhere between the seventh and eighth inning," he said, "maybe the eighth and ninth."

So he won't be eased in?

"No, he's not going to be eased in," Narron said.

Majewski was very happy to be back in the big leagues. He thinks he's ready. He hadn't allowed a run in the his last 8 1/3 innings with Louisville, allowing only two hits and striking out 13.

"I was doing what I did back in the day: Grip it and rip it," he said. "Going after guys."

He understands he has to prove himself all over again.

"I talk all day about what used to be," he said. "Used to be is in the past. I've got to go about and put up zeros."

He was fine with possibility of facing his old club.

"It's just a weird coincidence," he said.

Another transaction

From the Reds: "In another transaction, IF Enrique Cruz cleared waivers and was outrighted off the 40-man roster to Chattanooga.

Our 40-man roster is at 39 players."

That opens a spot to bring up, someone not on the 40-man. Homer Bailey is not on the 40-man. Presumptuous on my part? Probably. But I think the Reds moved more quickly on the Todd Coffey-Gary Majewski thing than they normally would.

A renewed sense of urgency, perhaps?

Coffey out, Majewski in

From the Reds:

CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Reds today recalled from Class AAA Louisville RHP Gary Majewski and optioned to Louisville RHP Todd Coffey.

Majewski has pitched for the Bats all season and went 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 15 relief appearances (16ip, 14h, 8er, 4bb, 17k, 1hr). International League opponents hit just .233.

On April 20 vs Norfolk, Majewski allowed a season-high 6 earned runs while retiring just 2 batters. His ERA at Louisville without appearance drops to 1.17. He didn't allow a run in 8 games after that April 20 appearance (8.1 innings).

Late last season Majewski was on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder, and he spent the early part of spring training strengthening that shoulder. He made 2 appearances for the Reds in spring training, on March 26 and March 28, then on March 29 was optioned to Louisville.

He last pitched for the Bats on Tuesday at Columbus (1.1ip, 2k).

Coffey went 1-1 with a 4.94 ERA in 26 relief appearances for the Reds. He is expected to report to Louisville tomorrow.

A bit of cheery news

From my man, Jamie Ramsey (maybe the future will be better, Reds fans): Entering the 2005 season, Richie Gardner was named by USA Today Sports Weekly as the best pitching prospect in the Reds organization. However that year he had season-ending shoulder surgery on 8/3 and spent most of 2006 recuperating. He appeared in 9 games last season split between Sarasota and the GCL Reds (9g, 5 starts, 31.2ip, 31h, 22r, 18er, 4hr, 12bb, 29k, 5.12era). This season Gardner has been pitching very well. Below is his 2007 game-by-game rundown and totals:

For Sarasota
4/9 at Ft. Myers: 1W, 5ip, 6h, 2r, 2er, 1bb, 0k
4/14 vs. Tampa: 5ip, 3h, 1r, 1er, 2bb, 4k
4/19 at Clearwater: 1w, 6ip, 3h, 1r, 1er, 1bb, 3k
4/25 vs. Lakeland: 1L, 6.2ip, 4h, 3r, 1er, 2bb, 3k
4/30 at Lakeland: 1W, 6ip, 4h, 2r, 2er, 1hr, 1bb, 6k
5/5 at Palm Beach: 1W, 8ip, 5h, 1r, 1er, 1bb, 4k
5/11 vs. Jupiter: 1W, 7ip, 4h, 0r, 1bb, 5k
For Louisville
5/17 at Toledo: 6ip, 4h, 3r, 3er, 2hr, 2bb, 2k
For Chattanooga
Last night at West Tenn: 4.2ip, 6h, 2r, 0er, 0bb, 9k
TOTALS: 9g/9gs, 5-2, 1.84era, 53.2ip, 39h, 15r, 11er, 9bb, 36k, .199ba

Cincinnati 105-75 (.583)
Milwaukee 104-75 (.581)
Cleveland 98-75 (.566)
Colorado 100-78 (.562)
NY Yankees 98-79 (.554)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Nationals 12, Reds 7

It was an ugly, ugly night at the old ball park. I've written that before, haven't I?

Bob Castellini did talk to the team before the game. Jerry Narron at first said: "If anybody talks to anybody I think that's between the team."

Later, Narron said: "He was very encouraging, very positive, short and to the point."

Castellini is a positive guy by nature. But to say what he said and then have the team go out and play like it did has to have him shaking his head.

I don't know what he'll do, but you've got to think he'll do something.

As for the game, the Reds' first mistake was letting Kyle Lohse start. He was sick enough that he didn't throw at all from his last start until yesterday. The guy was coming off a start in which he gave up seven runs in 1 1/3 innings. Bronson Arroyo volunteered to start. They looked at moving Matt Belisle up a day. But Lohse said he talked his way into starting. "I thought I could help the team by going five ininngs," he said. "Obviously, it wasn't five very good innings."

The Nats also tried to give this one away. But after the Reds closed to 9-5. The bullpen gave up three in -- you guessed it -- the eighth.

Meanwhile, Gary Majewski's working on a 8 1/3 inning scoreless streak for the Bats. He's given up two hits, two walks and struck out 13 in that span.

Not what the marketing department had in mind

Great American was almost full tonight because it's Bronson Arroyo Bobblehead Night. To say the Reds didn't put on a good show is like saying Manute Bol is tall.

The "Fire Narron!" chants started in the seventh right after Todd Coffey gave up back-to-back home runs -- the first the Nationals had hit all year. That made it 9-1. The Reds were nine outs from tying the Nats for the worst record in the Nationals League.

The chants quickly stopped, but you get the point.

CEO Bob Castellini apparently met with the players and staff before the game. Castellini said that can't "overreact in baseball." But it's getting very ugly in Redsland.

Nationals 7, Reds 1 (so far)

Kyle Lohse went 4 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits. He put the Reds in a 7-1 hole. It looks like he's headed for his sixth straight loss. He's allowed 17 earned runs on 24 hits over 10 innings in his last three starts.

He may have been sick Wednesday night -- and if he felt that bad wouldn't it have more prudent not to start? -- but that doesn't explain the other two starts.

So would you send him back out there Monday? I won't mention the kid in Louisville. But what about Phil Dumatrait (5-2, 2.64 ERA at Louisville)? Victor Santos (four runs on seven hits in his last 10 2/3)?

Lohse's ERA is 5.31. He doesn't vaguely resemble the pitcher who was 1-1 with 2.88 ERA in April.

Lohse ailing

I'm not at the ballpark yet. But I heard this last night and forgot to put it in the notes: Kyle Lohse has the flu that's been going around. Lohse was sleeping on the clubhouse floor during BP.

I didn't check after the game, but my guess is they sent him home. He's scheduled to start tonight. The bullpen really can't afford another short start. They've pitched 10 2/3 innings the last two nights.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Felipe 8, Reds 4

Felipe Lopez's grand slam against his old club had to be sweet. But he said the fact that it came against the Reds in Cincinnati didn't make it anymore special.

"It's just special to get a win," he said.

I don't believe that. This had to be extra special for Lopez.

The Reds still haven't won two in a row in the May.

The eighth inning continues to be the inning of horror for the Reds. They've given up 38 runs in the eighth over 46 games. Jon Coutlangus was Tuesday's victim. He had not allowed a run in his last eight appearances. He walked a batter, got an out, gave up two singles, then the Lopez slam.

Jerry Narron elected to stay with Coutlangus, a lefty, even though Lopez, a switch-hitter, was hitting .279 off lefties and .218 off righties this year. "When he was with us, we always thought of him as a better left-handed hitter," Narron said.

Stats back that: Lopez came into the year hitting .246 off lefties and .285 off righties.

Anyway, the eighth continues to be a problem. The way Gary Majewski's throwing -- 1 1/3 perfect innings Tuesday with two Ks -- it might be time for him to join the mix. But it might wise to wait until the Nats are gone.

By the way, Kirk Saarloos was sick enough (flu) that the Reds sent him home Monday. He pitched decently -- 5 1/3, six hits, three runs. He'll get another start, Narron said.

Scott Conine or Jeff Hatteberg

I was curious after reading some comments on the blog or the perceived lack of production from Jeff Conine and Scott Hatteberg how the Reds first baseman platoon stacked up. Very well, it turns out.

So far, Hatteberg and Conine have combined to hit .295 with five home runs and 30 RBI. Look at how other first baseman in the NL compare:

Derrek Lee .390 3 25

Todd Helton .355 5 26

Prince Fielder .288 14 35

Albert Pujols .273 7 23

Lance Berkman .265 5 23

The numbers are skewed a bit because Hatteberg and Conine have combined for 190 at-bats. That's more than any of the guys who play every day. But if you look at at-bats strictly by first basemen, the Reds rank fifth in NL in RBI at 27 and sixth in the NL OPS at .818.

Reds vs. Nationals, 5-22

Freel, cf
Gonzalez, ss
Griffey Jr., rf
Phillips, 2b
Conine, 1b
Dunn, lf
Encarnacion, 3b
Ross, c
Saarloos, rhp

Lopez, 2b
Guzman, ss
Zimmerman, 3b
Young, 1b
Kearns, rf
Schneider, c
Logan, cf
Langerhans, lf
Chico, lhp

Homer's outing

Homer Bailey went 5 2/3 ininngs Tuesday in Columbus. One hit, one unearned run, two walks, seven strikeouts. 92 pitches. The hit was a bunt single.

That hamstring must be OK. He ran the bases a couple of times.

Again, I know the Reds want him to work on things. I know they don't want to rush him. But if it's my club, Kirk Saarloos has to be pretty good tonight, or Bailey is starting for the Reds in five days.

Hamilton to DL; Encarnacion back

From the Reds:

Today the Reds placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Saturday, OF Josh Hamilton (gastroenteritis) and recalled from Class AAA Louisville 3B Edwin Encarnacion.

Encarnacion hit .413 with 3 HRs, 7 RBI and a 1.009 OPS in 11 games. He did make 3 errors.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Reds 8, Nationals 7

I'm sure Doc is in the WLW studio right now fielding a lot of calls on what a great job Jerry Narron did managing tonight in the Reds' 8-7 victory over the Nats.

I'm being facetious here (facetious, by the way, is the only word in the English language with the five vowels in the order).

But my point is managers never get credit when everything goes right. And a lot went right for the Reds on night when things started very wrong. Narron managed the bullpen well to get seven innings of shutout ball from them. He used his pinch-hitters the right way, too, so Javy Valentin was up in a situation to win the game, which he did.

After Valentin got the Reds the lead, Narron sent up Juan Castro instead of Jeff Conine to pinch-hit. That meant Castro played third in the ninth, Ryan Freel went from third to center, and Norris Hopper went from center to left. Freel ran down Ryan Zimmerman's drive in the right-center that looked like a game-tying double. Hopper doesn't make that catch.

I don't think Narron deserves a medal for his decisions, but if one of them had gone the other way and the Reds would have lost, he'd be getting lit up right now. That is right of every fan. But you've got to give the guy credit when things go right.

After the game, Chris Welsh interviewed Narron for FSN. He concluded with "thanks, coach." A major faux pas when talking to a manager. Bill "Seg" Dennison was once sent down to John McNamara's office to next day to apologize for such a gaffe. Narron took it in stride.

"That's the least insult I've heard lately."

Would you bring EE back?

Louisville leads Columbus 9-2 after 5. Edwin Encarnacion is 3-for-3 with a home run, 3 runs and 2 RBI. He's hitting .413 at the moment.

Would you bring him back?

You can a pretty strong argument the Reds' lineup tonight would have been better with Encarnacion at third and Freel in center.

By the way, Bronson Arroyo's outing -- 2 IP, 6 hits, 6 earned runs -- was the shortest start of his career. His ERA went from 2.64 to 3.41.

It's a 7-5 game now, however.

That's odd

Bronson Arroyo hit in the second inning -- he walked -- then was repalced by Victor Santos to start the third.

The Reds are short on the bench if Josh Hamilton is unavailable, which may be the case. Hamilton took early BP, but he cut the regular session short because he wasn't feeling well.

Comeback or else

Unless the Reds can come back from a 6-2 deficit, they will end the night tied with the Washington Nationals for the worst record in the National League.

How's this for a bad start to a homestand? Bronson Arroyo, who came in with 2.64 ERA, gave up four earned runs in the first inning. He also threw 49 pitches. Then he gave up a two-run, two-out homer to Austin Kearns in the second.

Scott Hatteberg hit a two-run homer in the Reds' second. So the Reds have a pulse, a faint one, but a pulse.

Bruce on fire

Jay Bruce, the No. 1 pick in '05, is having a sensational year at high A Sarasota. He went 3-for-4 with a double in the a 6-1 win Sunday. He's at least two hits, including a double in his last five games.

Here's what he's doing against the Florida State League so far:
.351 batting average (1st)
9 HR (2nd)
32 RBI (5th)
60 hits (1st)
14 doubles (5th)
.649 slugging (1st)
28 extra-base hits (1st)
34 runs (1st)
5 triples (T1st)

At 20, Bruce is a year a young than Adam Dunn was when he made his climb from AA to bigs. But you've got to think that Bruce is on the fast track to the majors. He can probably expect a bump to AA at the All-Star Break.

Reds vs. Nationals, 5-21

Freel, 3b
Hopper, cf
Griffey, rf
Phillips, 2b
Dunn, lf
Gonzalez, ss
Hatteberg, 1b
Ross, c
Arroyo, rhp

Lopez, 2b
Guzman, ss
Zimmerman, 3b
Young, 1b
Kearns, rf
Schneider, c
Logan, cf
Langerhans, lf
Speigner, rhp

Reds claim infielder

From the Reds:

CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Reds today acquired IF Pedro Lopez off waivers from the Chicago White Sox and optioned him to Class AAA Louisville.

Lopez, 23, takes the 40-man roster spot of IF Jerry Gil, who was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

In 41 games this season with Class AAA Charlotte, Lopez batted .242 with 2 HR, 11 RBI and 7 doubles. He split last season between Charlotte and Class AA Birmingham and established career highs with 27 doubles, 10 HR and 58 RBI while batting a combined .300 with 62 runs scored in 124 games.

Lopez had spent his entire professional career in the White Sox organization. He was signed by Chicago as a free agent on September 14, 2000. In 2005 he made his Major League debut and appeared in 2 games. Following that season, Lopez played for Peoria in the prestigious Arizona Fall League.

Welcome back, sort of

From the Reds:

RHP Marcus McBeth today was reinstated from the bereavement list and was optioned to Class AAA Louisville.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Road 7, Reds 2

The Reds ended the road trip 2-7. Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians was a lot like the other six: It started well enough, but when given a chance to let it get away the Reds did.

That's how you get to be a 17-27 team. The Reds come home for eight games. Afterward, we asked the usual is-it-good-to-be-coming-home questions.

“It’s nice to get home,” Scott Hatteberg said. “But we said that after last road trip and we played poorly at home. We've got to play good at home. It was a tough trip. We played some good teams, real good teams.”

The teams the Reds play on the homestand -- Washington and Pittsburgh -- aren't what you'd call real good.

The Reds played Los Angeles, San Diego and Cleveland on the road trip. Those teams went into Sunday a combined 73-53. The Nationals and the Pirates were a combined 34-51.

So the time is right for making a move. But the question is: Are the Reds capable of playing well consistently? The answer so far is a big fat no.

And it doesn't matter where they play. The Reds are 8-12 at home – 4-10 since the first homestand of the year.

By the way, the bullpen is no longer problem: The relievers have a 1.42 ERA over the last four games.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Reds 10, Indians 5; Weathers steps up

You've got to give David Weathers credit. He challenged his teammates by saying things had to turn around. That talks rings hollow when the speaker doesn't hold up his end of the deal.

Weathers has. Saturday night was another example. He recorded his eighth save in the 10-5 win over the Indians. He got the final two outs of the eighth when the Reds were clinging to a 7-4 lead and seemingly a pitch or two away from another major eighth inning meltdown and pitched the ninth as well.

Then he favored us with some good quotes:

Nice win, eh? “They've all are nice right now. It’d be nice if we played the University of Cincinnati and won. We need Ws.”

On the five-out save: “It doesn't matter to me. I’ll do whatever Jerry asks. We've got to be willing to go above and beyond. When you’re 10 games under .500 and 10 games out, you've got to get it done.”

That's leadership. Talk the talk, then back it up. His ERA is 2.18. He's converted eight of nine saves. He comes in throwing strikes -- three walks, 22 Ks in 20 2/3 innings.

Grievance filed

The Reds confirmed they filed the grievance with Major League Baseball over the Gary Majewski trade.

Wayne Krivsky would not comment on it.

The crux of the case will come down to whether the Reds can prove that they were misled on Majewski's condition before the July 13 trade. The parties involved were deposed by the Reds lawyers.

Nationals GM Jim Bowden wouldn't comment on it either when asked about it by the Washington Post.

There's no deadline for a ruling. If the Reds win, it would put Bowden in a tough spot with the new ownership in Washington.

Hamilton ill

From the Reds:

At approximately 5:45 this morning Reds OF Josh Hamilton was taken by ambulance to Lutheran Hospital in Cleveland, where he was diagnosed with gastroenteritis, a general term referring to the inflammation or infection of the gastrointestinal tract.

He has returned to the team hotel, where he is resting. He is day-to-day.

We're cool

Wayne Krivsky called today and apologized for last night's postgame deal. He said he listened to a tape on the what I said on WLW. In context, he had no problem with it.

Apology accepted.

I understand why Krivsky and Jerry Narron are a bit on edge. These are two guys whose lives are baseball. When their club is going bad, awfully really, it cuts deeply.

Judging from my e-mail and postings on the blog, they aren't the two most popular guys in the town. But I can assure that both are good guys. They've always treated me fairly. That's all a beat guy can ask.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Krivsky on Narron: 'It's not going to happen'

Wayne Krivsky said in the strongest -- I mean strongest -- terms possible that manager Jerry Narron's job is safe after Reds' 9-4 loss to the Indians.

Krivsky took exception to a response I made to a question from Marty Brennaman during our second inning chat. Marty asked if I thought Narron was safe if the team continued to play the way it is. I said no, or words to that effect. "It's not going to happen," Krivsky said after the game. "Get off of it." I did three radio interviews today. I was asked about it in all three. I answered the same way: I don't think it's Narron's fault. But managers tend to take the blame. The old you-can't-fire-the-players thing. So unless the Reds turn it around, my guess is, Narron will take the fall at some point.

Saarloos to start; Jerry on workout

Kirk Saarloos is the Reds' fifth starter for the time being. He'll either start Sunday in Aaron Harang's spot or Tuesday in Eric Milton's. The Reds are expecting Harang to be back for Sunday's game.

Saarloos is happy with the move.

"Any pitcher would be," he said. "I don't think the pitch count matters with me. I did the same thing last year and I threw 104 pitches the frist time out."

Jerry Narron's explanation for the early workout: "Felt like we needed it after a day off. It's a beautiful day in Cleveland . . . "

The session was unprecedented under Narron. The team had not done it once all of last year or this year. Judging from the body language not all the players were happy about. When you lose 12 of 15, you got to do some things differently. In other words, it's a big, old hang with 'em.

Unusual early session

Looks like the Reds had a mandatory early workout. There was the usual extra hitting and the like. But this was no typical early session.

They took fielding practice. Bucky Dent hit fungos into the gaps and corners, outfielders ran them and hit the cut-off guy. You usually only see that kind of stuff in spring training.

After the club took infield -- again a regular season rarity -- Jerry Narron called them all in. He talked to them for about five minutes around the pitcher's mound. Bucky Dent also spoke, as did David Weathers.

Desperate times, desperate measures and all that.

We'll see how much good it did starting at 7:10.

From Cleveland

I'm on my way to Jake. Bright, sunny day here, but cool. If you're coming up, bring a jacket or two.

I don't know anymore than what the Reds released on Marcus McBeth. The fact that they brought back Brad Salmon would indicate that Aaron Harang will likely be back for Sunday's start. If he wasn't going to be, I think they'd have brought up a starter.

I've got a pretty sweet room at Marriott -- 15th floor, corner, overlooking the lake. Great view of the football stadium. I never been in it. I loved the old place. From the outside, the new one doesn't look quite a nice as PBS.

More transactions

From the Reds:

TRANSACTIONS: Today the Reds recalled from Class AAA Louisville RHP Brad Salmon and IF Jeff Keppinger and placed on the bereavement list RHP Marcus McBeth...yesterday, RHP Aaron Harang went on the bereavement list...Salmon wears uniform #53 and Keppinger #27.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Harang on bereavement list; Bray update

From the Reds:

Aaron Harang today went on the bereavement list. He remained in San Diego with his ailing grandfather.

A roster move will be made prior to tomorrow night's game. We will list Sunday’s starter as TBA, in the event Aaron doesn't make it back.

And this on Bill Bray:

In an extended spring game today LHP Bill Bray threw 27 pitches in 2.0 innings with no complaints.

Depending on how he feels tomorrow, it is possible he could start a rehab assignment on Sunday.

Damned if you do...

I didn't see last night's game, except for the last pitch, which ESPN showed once. Had that been a pitch to end a Yankees-Red Sox game, they would have shown it roughly 98 times. But I digress.

Jerry Narron is now taking heat for leaving in starters too long?

The game-ending pitch was No. 129 for Bronson Arroyo. That's a lot but not a ridiculous amount. If he had taken Arroyo out the and the bullpen blows it, Narron gets the blame for that as well. That's the way it works in baseball.

The heat will build until the Reds go on a streak or he's fired. Which comes first is anyone's guess. Only Bob Castellini can make that call. When I last spoke to him, he was nowhere near that point. Of course, the Reds are 1-5 since.

Padres 3, Reds 2

SAN DIEGO - A bases-loaded walk issued by Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday handed the Padres a 3-2 victory before 23,856 fans at Petco Park.
“Watching it on replay, it could’ve been borderline high,” Reds catcher David Ross said. “It’s the little things that beat us tonight. It can’t come down to that last pitch.”
A pair of singles kicked off the ninth inning and the Padres loaded the bases on catcher Josh Bard’s groundball to the mound. Arroyo fielded the ball and threw low to third baseman Ryan Freel, who was unable to secure the errant throw for a force out.
“I rushed it a smidge because I wasn’t sure how quick the guy was running,” Arroyo said. “Freel was coming from kind of a deep position and that kind of made it worse because he couldn’t get in front of the bag before I threw it. I threw him a sinker that was just too low.”
Padres third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff followed and with the bases loaded and a full count held off swinging at Arroyo’s pitch that home plate umpire Ed Rapuano called ball four.
The walk forced Padres shortstop Khalil Greene in from third base to score the game-winning run.
“I was looking for the, ‘Ha! Ha!’” Arroyo said, “and I didn’t see anything and oh, (no), the game was over.”
The Reds have lost five of the first six games on a nine-game road trip that wraps up with a three-game series against the Indians starting Friday in Cleveland. Wednesday’s loss also was the 12th in their past 15 games.
“I don’t know if I’ve even got words for it,” Ross said. “I’m so mad for Bronson to pitch like he did and us not win.”
Arroyo threw 129 pitches and allowed one earned run on 10 hits, struck out six and walked two.
The Padres tied the game at two in the seventh inning with a run-scoring single by Kouzmanoff. Mike Cameron was on first and was approaching third when Reds left fielder Adam Dunn tried to field the ball and prevent a run.
“It just took kind of a side hop and just kicked over my glove,” Dunn said. “I don’t know. That’s all it did.”
The ball rolled to the left field wall and Cameron scored easily. Dunn was charged with an error.
“I’m sure he would have held up,” Dunn said. “Bronson pitched his (butt) off and some stupid (stuff) like that happens.”

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Majewski update

The Louisville Bats reinstated relief pitcher Gary Majewski from the temporarily inactive list Tuesday following the death of his sister.
On Wednesday, the right-hander made his first appearance since May 1. He allowed one hit, walked one and struck out one over a scoreless inning.
Majewski rejoined the team last week, but experienced a slight shoulder strain while throwing on the side.
"He probably rushed it trying to come back," Reds GM Wayne Krivsky said. "It wasn't a DL situation. He's fine."

Reds vs. Padres, 5-16

SAN DIEGO - Scanning over Rob Butcher's always-helpful daily Reds game notes and a few items caught my attention.

* The last time the Reds used just two pitchers in a 12-inning game, like they did Tuesday with Aaron Harang (9 ip, 2h) and David Weathers (3 ip, 0 h), was Sept. 14, 1989 when Tim Leary (7 ip, 9h, 3 er, 2 bb, 6k) and Norm Charlton (4-1/3 ip, 2h, 1r, 0er, 1bb, 10k) pitched in a 4-3 loss against the Giants.

* The Reds enter tonight's game with a 16-24 record (.400 winning percentage). How does that compare to recent seasons?

YEAR -- W-L, PCT.________FINISH
2007 - 16-24, .400_______??????????
2006 - 23-17, .575_______80-82, 3rd
2005 - 14-26, .350_______73-89, 5th
2004 - 22-18, .550_______76-86, 4th
2003 - 21-19, .525_______69-93, 5th
2002 - 25-15, .625_______78-84, 3rd
2001 - 17-23, .425_______66-96, 5th
2000 - 22-17-1, .550_____85-77, 2nd

Tonight's lineups

Freel, 3b
Hamilton, cf
Griffey, rf
Phillips, 2b
Dunn, lf
Hatteberg, 1b
Gonzalez, ss
Ross, c
Arroyo, rhp

M. Giles, 2b
Cruz, lf
B. Giles, rf
Gonzalez, 1b
Greene, ss
Cameron, cf
Bard, c
Kouzmanoff, 3b
Peavy, rhp

Reds win

SAN DIEGO - Reds right fielder Ken Griffey Jr., who was batting when Brandon Phillips was caught stealing to end the 11th inning, led off the 12th inning Tuesday with a home run that gave the Reds a 2-1 win against the Padres at Petco Park.

The win ended a four-game losing streak.

"It was bound to happen," Griffey said of the win. "You’ve just got to keep playing. The schedule doesn’t stop, the season doesn’t stop just because you’re losing. So you’ve just got to keep going and eventually you’ll get one."

Reds starter Aaron Harang balked in the game-tying run in the eighth inning and allowed just two hits over his nine innings. David Weathers pitched three perfect innings for the win.

"One, two, three, it didn't matter to me. Four," Weathers said. "I just wanted to do what I can to help us get out of this funk.

Griffey hit a 3-and-2 fastball from Padres reliever Heath Bell for the game-winner.

"He's got really good stuff," Griffey said of Bell. "Anytime you throw a fastball in the mid to upper 90s and he’s got a good slider, you just have to hope you get a pitch you can hit and I was able to do that."

The home run ended a streak of nine homerless consecutive games by the Padres pitching staff.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Reds vs. Padres, 5-15

SAN DIEGO - Several Reds are taking early batting practice this afternoon at Petco Park. Those participating: Ryan Freel, David Ross, Norris Hopper, Chad Moeller and Javier Valentin.

Which left me wondering....

Through the first four games of this nine-game road trip, the Reds have been outscored 26-9 in the four losses and are batting .185 overall and .214 with runners in scoring position.

The lineups....

Freel, lf
Phillips, 2b
Griffey, rf
Conine, 1b
Dunn, lf
Gonzalez, ss
Hamilton, cf
Moeller, c
Harang, rhp

M. Giles, 2b
Cruz, lf
B. Giles, rf
Gonzalez, 1b
Greene, ss
Cameron, cf
Bard, c
Kouzmanoff, 3b
Wells, lhp

Fool's gold?

Yesterday -- after taking a 7 or 8 on the first hole -- I hit a hit a 5 wood to within 12 feet on a 177-yard par 3. Just missed the birdie putt and tapped in for par. If you watched that hole, you might be under the mistaken in impression that I'm a good golfer. I'm not. After that hole, I went back to usual array of shanks, pulls, slices and 3 putts.

The reason I bring this up is after watching the Reds in the final game of the recent homestand -- the 9-5 win over Houston -- you might have been under the mistaken impression that the Reds were about to roll. But after that win, they went back to usual array of missed opportunities, bullpen blowups, strikeouts and bad starts.

Both Doc and I talked to Bob Castellini that day. An optimistic guy by nature, he was convinced that a turnaround was in the offing. Looking back it would have been much more interesting to get his take if the Reds hadn't won that day.

The good news for Big Bob is good percentage of people are still ticked off. That shows that apathy hasn't set in yet. But it's only a few losses away. After that win, it seemed like a major shake-up was a ways away. Now, my guess is if the don't win two or three of the final five games on the trip, we could see something.

As for the moves, I'd make Marcus McBeth the closer and put David Weathers in the eighth. I'd rather get to the ninth than see games blown in the eighth. If McBeth works out, it's a huge bonus. I see the Chad Moeller move as indictment of Javier Valentin's pitch selection. Jerry Narron has questioned it a couple of times this year.

Monday leftovers

Here are some thoughts from Reds players before Monday's loss to the Padres:


"You'd hate to think this could happen for 162 games. If this is the case, it's going to be a long season. But it is only May."

"It’s easy to blame people when they’re losing. Right now, I know we’re trying to do everything we can to win and I know Jerry is doing everything he can to put the best lineup in there and the best match-ups. You can see that. He’s doing that. I just think we’re not executing like we should be. When it’s your time to get in there and get a start as a position player, here’s your chance to do something to help the team win. If you get the ball and you haven’t pitched in three or four days, here’s your chance. Don’t blame it on something else. We’re professionals here."


"It’s hard to have fun when you’re getting your butt kicked every night. All this stuff snowballs. We’ve got to find a way to break it up. We’re a team that has to have fun. We don’t play very well when everybody is pressing. I think that’s what everyone is doing right now."

And after the game....

"It’s demoralizing. You feel bad about yourself as is. Then you go in and face him (Greg Maddux). You could be on top of the world and he would bring you back to earth.
It’s just fuel on the fire for us right now. Tough one. Hopefully we can put it behind us."

"There’s a difference between losing and getting beat. It feels like we’ve been getting beat if that makes any sense."

"You've got to take losing personal. I don't know if we're doing that. I think you've really got to hate it."

Roster moves

SAN DIEGO - After tonight's loss, the Reds optioned pitcher Bobby Livingston and infielder Jeff Keppinger to Triple-A Louisville. They will recall veteran catcher Chad Moeller and relief pitcher Marcus McBeth before today’s game.

The Reds acquired McBeth as one of the players to be named later in the April 27 trade that sent injured outfielder Chris Denorfia to the Athletics. In 16 appearances with the Bats, the 26-year-old, who will be making his major league debut when he pitches for the Reds, went 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA and nine saves in 10 chances.

“It was unanimous by the staff there (in Louisville) that he was a guy that could help us,” Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said.

By bringing in Moeller, who was on the opening day roster before the team designated him for assignment April 18, the Reds will again be carrying three catchers. Moeller batted .270 with three home runs and nine RBI in 11 games with the Bats.

“We’re going to get some bullpen help with McBeth, give him a chance to come in here and see what he can do,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said. “The catching situation, Chad Moeller is going to get a chance to catch some for us. It will put (Javier Valentin) back in a role where we can use him anytime during the game to pinch hit. The catching part of it; Moeller and David Ross will do the bulk of it.”

The Reds will skip the fifth starter's regular turn Saturday - Kyle Lohse will start Friday followed by Matt Belisle on Saturday and Aaron Harang on Sunday. The Reds next need the fifth starter against the Nationals on May 22. Eric Milton, by the way, isn't eligible to come off the 15-day DL until May 24.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Guardado throws

SAN DIEGO - Eddie Guardado just finished throwing a 20-pitch live batting practice session. The lefty reliever, who is coming back from "Tommy John" elbow surgery, faced Josh Hamilton, Jeff Keppinger and Norris Hopper.

It was clear, even from our press box perch, that he was having fun.

We'll catch up with Eddie when the clubhouse opens to the media here in a few minutes.

Hamilton, Hopper, Keppinger and Juan Castro, who got his 500th career hit Sunday, are now extra batting practice.

Griffey named Player of the Week

From the Reds: Ken Griffey Jr. today was named the National League Player of the Week...last week he hit .400, led the NL with 9 RBI and tied for the lead with 3 HR...is Griffey's 10th Player of the Week award...he won it 9 times while playing for the Mariners, most recently from 6/29-7/5, 1998...he is the second Reds player to win the award this season (Alex Gonzalez, 4/23-4/29).

Checking in from Hilton Head

I've been reading the comments of the posters this morning. 1 p.m. tee time, you know. The frustration comes through load and clear.

If I were a fan, I'd be frustrated, too. Any fan is when his or her team doesn't play well. The Reds have gone far, far beyond that. But what's more frustrating -- again from a fan's perspective -- is a seeming lack of urgency. I think the Bibby Livingston over Homer Bailey points to that. As I see, the Reds have one really big bullet (Bailey) in the minors. What better time to fire it than now?

Same goes with the Brad Salmon being sent out. He has a power arm. And other than the bad pitch to Lance Berkman, he's been pretty good.

I wrote after one of those losses at home that season was on the brink. It's well past that now. I hear the talk that's it's time to bring up the kids. But other than Bailey, Salmon and Joey Votto, the club doesn't have a lot of talent close enough to the majors to bump up.

That's why they've got to thinking about trading some of the veterans to get some young players in that mold. A fire sale can be a good thing if done right. The last time the Reds had one they got Aaron Harang, Matt Belisle and Phil Dumatrait.

A little on Livingston

SAN DIEGO - Since I didn't really go in depth about Bobby Livingston's first major league start in the game story or notebook for Monday's paper, here's some of what went unused.

Q: How much did you follow what the Reds were doing when you were at Triple-A Louisville?

Livingston: I try not to pay too much attention to that because it's kind of like a Tacoma-Seattle deal where everything you hear (in Tacoma) is about Seattle. In Louisville, it's like, 'Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Cincinnati.' I don't watch a lot of TV anyway. I watch a lot of movies. When I am watching TV it's like the Discovery Channel or something. Usually if the game is on at the stadium, I'll watch it and watch guys that I know like (Jon) Coutlangus and (Jared) Burton and (Matt) Belisle, guys like that, and see how they're doing."

He wanted to come to Dodger Stadium and throw after flying to L.A., but Saturday's game had already started. So he went to the team hotel instead and watched the game on mlb.com.

"I just ordered a $28 pizza, the most expensive pizza ever," he said. "That and just laid around and talked to my girlfriend."

And his two sacrifice bunts Sunday?

"I can swing the bat a little bit. I hit a lot during the offseason and I was a hitter in high school. I enjoy hitting in the offseason, so i do it and work on it as much as I can and as much the guys will let me work on it."

North to South

SAN DIEGO - The two-hour drive from Dodger Stadium to downtown San Diego took close to three hours because of construction delays tonight. A trip on Interstate 5 is an exercise in defensive driving.

Anyway, it gave me plenty of time to think about Sunday's game and to plan a trip or three to the nearest In-N-Out before I leave. If you haven't heard, or read, Ken Griffey Jr. had some interesting things to say when myself, C. Trent from the Post and two other L.A.-based reporters interviewed him after the game.

The highlights....

Q: What's the best thing the team can do as it heads to San Diego for the Padres series?

Griffey: Keep playing. That's the only way you're going to get out of things.

Q: You've been in this situation before, how do you handle it?

Griffey: Eventually it's going to turn around. We need to learn to have some fun because right now we're in baseball hell. We can't buy a break. Hopefully we start getting some.

Q: Are players still optimistic this can get turned around?

Griffey: Stormy (David Weathers) and I were talking about it today. Just keep playing. That's it. The season doesn't stop because you're going through a little rut.

Q: Will it be a lift when the team gets Eddie Guardado, Bill Bray and possibily Gary Majewski back in the fold?

Griffey: Anytime you get some guys back it's always a lift. But, still, we have to do the job until they get back.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Salmon it is

The Reds will option relief pitcher Brad Salmon to Triple-A Louisville to make room for Bobby Livingston.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Reds vs. Dodgers, 5-12

LOS ANGELES - Reds infielder Ryan Freel is not in the lineup for the second consecutive game because of flu-like symptoms. Jeff Keppinger will start in his place at third base.

Freel said he started feeling ill during batting practice Friday and didn't leave the training room until the game was over.

The lineups....

1. Hatteberg, 1B
2. Phillips, 2B
3. Griffey Jr., RF
4. Hamilton, CF
5. Gonzalez, SS
6. Dunn, LF
7. Keppinger, 3B
8. Ross, C
9. Lohse, RHP

1. Furcal, SS
2. Pierre, CF
3. Garciaparra, 1B
4. Kent, 2B
5. Gonzalez, LF
6. Martin, C
7. Ethier, RF
8. LaRoche, 3B
9. Penny, RHP

Also, Bill Bray threw an inning at extended spring training today in Sarasota. The left-handed reliever threw 24 pitches, 17 for strikes, and his velocity was between 89-91 mph. He will throw another inning Monday.

Dodgers 2, Reds 0

LOS ANGELES - Starting pitcher Randy Wolf struck out a season-high 11 batters without a walk over seven shutout innings and the Dodgers beat the Reds, 2-0, before 49,588 fans tonight at Dodger Stadium.

The Reds had hoped the shred of momentum generated by a winning end to their last homestand would carry into the start of a nine-game road trip. Instead, they managed just five hits and lost for the eighth time in 10 games.

Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo labored during the first two innings – he needed 42 pitches in the first inning alone – but salvaged a quality start.

The right-hander allowed two runs on six hits, struck out two and walked a season-high four over six innings.

Wolf entered with a 5-2 record and 3.58 ERA in 11 career starts against the Reds, but none of those came close to rivaling his performance Friday.

The Reds got four hits – three singles and a double – when Wolf was pitching.

Right fielder Ken Griffey Jr. singled in the first. Left fielder Adam Dunn singled with one out in the second. Second baseman Brandon Phillips extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games with a single in the third.

Third baseman Juan Castro, a late addition to the Reds’ lineup after Ryan Freel was scratched with the flu, led off the fifth with a double down the left field line.

Jonathan Broxton and Takashi Saito each contributed a scoreless inning in relief of Wolf. The Reds had runners at first and third in the ninth when Saito struck out Castro to end the game.

Both of the Dodgers’ runs came in the first inning against Arroyo.

A single and two walks loaded the bases for Dodgers catcher Russell Martin with two outs in the first inning. Martin lined a single to center field that scored two.

Arroyo walked the next batter, right fielder Andre Ethier, to reload the bases before striking out third baseman Andy LaRoche to end the inning. He stranded runners at second and third in the second inning.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Through three

Dodgers lead 2-0 after three innings.

Reds starter Bronson Arroyo loaded the bases twice and threw 42 pitches (23 for strikes) in the first inning. Dodgers catcher Russell Martin lined a single to center field that scored two.

With one out and Adam Dunn standing on first base in the second inning, Dodgers center fielder Juan Pierre made a sensational grab on a long fly ball by Reds third baseman Juan Castro. Pierre had to sprint to catch the ball and tumbled backward onto the warning track with it secured in his glove.

Arroyo retired the first two batters he faced in the second before allowing a single and a ground-rule double. The Dodgers stranded both runners.

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips just extended his career-high hitting streak to 14 games with a single to left off L.A. starter Randy Wolf.

Arroyo's pitch count stood at 61 going into the bottom of the third. He retired the Dodgers in order.

Kent vs. the Reds

Jeff Kent's career statistics against the Reds before he batted in the first inning -.320 batting average with 22 home runs and 101 RBI.

The Dodgers second baseman began tonight's game with 348 career home runs, which is tied with George Foster for 75th on the all-time list.

Vin Scully in the Vin Scully Press Box

Want to thank John Fay for handing me the blog keys for the first two legs of this road trip, if only because I get to share this....

Decided to top off my Coca-Cola before tonight's game started and encountered Vin Scully at the entrance to the press dining area. I reached to open the door for him, but he grabbed the handle first.

"Allow me," he said in that one-of-a-kind voice. "I'm on the door."

Very, very cool moment.

Freel scratched

Ryan Freel has been scratched from the starting lineup tonight because of the flu. He was supposed to lead off and play third base.

Norris Hopper, who is starting in center field, will lead off. Juan Castro will fill in for Freel at third base and bat seventh.

Reds vs. Dodgers, 5-11

LOS ANGELES - The lineups haven't been posted yet, but Eddie Guardado just finished a live batting practice session on the mound here at Dodger Stadium.

Guardado is coming back from "Tommy John" surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament and torn flexor mass tendon in his left elbow. By my count, he threw 21 pitches total to Jeff Keppinger and Josh Hamilton.

Keppinger and Hamilton are now taking extra batting practice.

It's Livingston

Reds just announced that Bobby Livingston will get the start Sunday.

I'd bring up Homer; what would you do?

Homer Bailey is always a fairly hot topic of conversation and perhaps my favorite Reds subject. Unless there's a change of plans, he isn't going to start Sunday's game. Bobby Livingston is.

I think the Reds are missing a big opportunity here. Why bring up Bailey?

Jerry Narron said the club wants the guy who's pitching the best. That might be Phil Dumatrait, but it certainly isn't Bobby Livingston. (Dumatrait started Thursday so it isn't going to be him) Livingston's 0-3 with 3.22 ERA. Bailey's 3-1 with a 1.83 ERA. But the big difference in the hits per inning. Bailey's given up 20 in 34 1/3 innings. Livingston's given up 51 hits in 44 2/3 innings. The only argument for Livingston, statistically, is walks. He's walked only four. Bailey's walked 15.

I simply don't buy the age thing. Ken Griffey Jr. had played in the 282 big league games before he turned 21.

To me this the perfect scenario. The start's on the road, thus less pressure, if Bailey struggles you simply send him back to Louisville when Eric Milton comes off the DL.

But the biggest reason to do it Bailey could give a boost to a team that definitely needs one -- not to mention give fans a reason to watch.

So what would you do? Livingston or Bailey? Or go with bullpen day and start Kirk Saarloos or Victor Santos?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Reds 9, Astros 5, big win?

Someone asked David Weathers whether Thursday's 9-5 win over the Houston Astros could have a lasting effect, a sort of carryover to build confidence.

"You hope," he said.

That's all they can really do. If they go on the coast and get beat around, Thursday's win will be forgotten before sun-up Saturday. If they play well, hope stays alive.

We shall see. I talked with Wayne Krivsky about Jerry Narron, and I talked with Bob Castellini about Narron and Krivsky. No shakeup is coming. The players they've got right now are going to determine the fate of this season.

Are they good enough to turn it around? We'll know by May 21 is my guess. That's the day they return from the monster, nine-game, 10-day, L.A., San Diego, Cleveland road trip to play our old friend, Jim Bowden's Washington Nationals.

My man, Kevin Kelly, is doing the first two legs of trip. Why go to L.A. and San Diego when Cleveland beckons? He has the keys to the blog. I'll check in from time to time.

It's over: Reds 9, Astros 5

Reds win 9-5, to snap the three-game losing streak.

That was a loud "Whew!" you heard after the last out. David Weathers got the final outs for his seventh save.

Adam Dunn has a homer, triple and double. He grounded out going for the cycle in the sixth. Ken Griffey Jr. also homered, tying Rafael Palmeiro for ninth all-time with 569.

Reds led, 7-0, but it got dicey in the eighth. Mike Stanton started the inning. He loaded the bases, around getting an out. Pitching change: David Weathers in. He got Brad Ausmus to pop out on the first pitch. Morgan Ensberg pinch-hit for Brian Moehler. Ensberg hit a 3-2 pitch out -- just foul, then took a caller third strike.

David Ross hit a two-run homer in the fifth to get the lead back to four after the Astros closed from 7-0 to 7-5.

Aaron Harang: 6 2/3 innings, 9 hits, 5 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts. Obviously, he didn't have his best stuff. He's been averaging six strikeouts a start. Harang gave up a three-run homer on 2-2 pitch to Chris Burke with two outs in the fourth. Harang was not happy. He threw something in the dugout.
Harang gave up two more in the fifth.

How runs scored (we used to have to do these every game, I hated it)

Reds 1st: Freel singles, Hatteberg singles. Freel to third. Griffey sacrfice fly. Dunn three-run homer.

Reds 2nd: Freel doubles. Griffey two-run homer. Reds 3rd: Dunn triples. Hamilton sacrifice fly.

Astros 4th: Berkman singles, Lamb singles. Burke three-run homer.

Astros 5th: Two outs. Lorett singles. Berkman walks. Leee singles, Loretta scores. Scott singles, Berkman scored, Lee out at third.

Reds 5th: Dunn doubles. Ross two-run homer. Reds, 9-5.

Krivsky: Narron's safe

I asked Wayne Krivsky today if Jerry Narron's job was safe for the immediate future.

He was a little taken aback by the question. But he said firing Narron is "not even on the radar."

He went on to say:

“We’ve got a lot of good professionals on this team – a lot of guys who have been on winning teams. Everybody in there knows what it takes to win. One of the hardest things to do is try easier. We’re going to come out of this. We’re going to come out of it soon. I believe we've got players in there with a lot who are going to show the people and fans that there better than they’ve show. I'm look forward to seeing that.”

Narron, Krivsky on Encarnacion move

The Reds sent Edwin Encarnacion to Triple-A Louisville Thursday and called up Jeff Keppinger.

Encarnacion was hitting .218 and led the team with six errors, two of which cost the Reds the game Wednesday. Still, it was a move the Reds didn't want to make.

"It’s disappointing," Jerry Narron said. "We were expecting him to come in here and progress from where he was a year ago. We were really expecting big things from him. It just hasn't happened yet. He’s got to go down there with the right attitude and work hard and play well and come back here and be a big part of what we’re going to do in the future."

Encarnacion took the news hard.

"Once I got his attention, I think initially, obviously, he was shocked," Wayne Krivsky "I said, ‘Look Eddie, this is your career here. You've got to work harder than you've ever worked and turn this into a positive. If you do that, you’re not going to be down there very long. If you go down there and you don’t get with the program, don’t work, you’re going to be down there a lot longer. It’s as simple as that. but you’re a big part of our future here.”

This means Ryan Freel gets the bulk of the time at third base. He took no glee in that.

"It stinks," he said. "Because Eddie can flat play. For the most part his defense has been better. He had a good year last year."

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Astros 3, Reds 2 -- 10-games-out blues

Let me start you off with a stat: The Astros are 7-1 against the Reds, and 9-16 against the rest of the league.

Edwin Encarnacion's two errors cost the Reds the game Wednesday. All three runs were unearned as a result. And the Reds are 10 games out on May 9.

"Seems like we're finding ways to lose games," Jerry Narron said. "We've got to start finding ways to win games."

About the time Narron was saying that, the blog got the "The season's over" comment.

Hard to argue. That only hammers home the point that you start Homer Bailey Sunday. You start playing Ryan Freel at third. (A stint in Louisville will do Encarnacion more good than harm). You see if Jared Burton and Brad Salmon can be the setup guys. You listen to offers for veterans.

Because 34 games in, what the Reds thought was going to work isn't working at all.

Milton to the DL; Burton back; Homer coming?

Eric Milton was placed on the 15-day disabled list with elbow strain. Jared Burton was brought back from his injury rehab.

The Reds haven't decided who will make Milton's start Sunday.

But Homer Bailey is in the running.

GM Wayne Krivsky said the starter could come from the current staff or the minor leagues.

"I don't know," Krivsky said. "I haven't talked to the (Louisville) staff yet."

It sounds like the club is leaning toward left-hander Bob Livingston. The start falls on his turn. He nearly made rotation out of spring straining.

But, if I'm charge, I go with Bailey, who be working on six days' rest.

Why? He's been better at Louisville. Bailey is 3-1 with a 1.83 ERA at Louisville, Livingston is 0-3 with 3.22.

But the biggest reason is the Reds need to do something to get fans excited. The start comes on Sunday. The game is Fox Sport Ohio at 4:10 p.m. Starting Livingston isn't going to be a rating boon, Bailey would be.

Milton complained of pain after his start Tuesday. He had an MRI. "It's nothing serious," Krivsky said.

Burton has been rehabbing from at hamstring strain since April 17. He was expected to join the club in time for Wednesday's game.

"It will give eight relievers for the time being," Krivsky said.

Transaction: Cormier clears

From the Reds: "LHP Rheal Cormier cleared waivers and was released...he posted a 9.00era in 6 apps for the Reds before he was designated for assignment on 4/28."

Ouch. That's a $2.5 million mistake -- his salary for the rest of this year and next year's buyout. That's why, if I'm running the Reds, I try to fix things in the bullpen from within.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Astros 7, Reds 6 and Stormy Weathers

The frustration finally boiled over in the Reds clubhouse. David Weathers took it out on the media a bit after the Astros beat up on the Reds bullpen for two in the seventh (Lance Berkman's two-run homer off Brad Salmon) and one in the ninth off Weathers.

“We know we’re blowing games," Weathers said. "It’s frustrating to all of us. You guys (in the media) act like it’s more frustrating to you. You all don’t put on the uniform. It hurts us personally.”

Weathers apologized for snapping and basically called out bullpen.

“We've got to stop all the talk,” Weathers said. “It’s got to start tomorrow. If we go out there with a lead, somebody needs to get it done.”

I can understand Weathers' frustration. But it's pretty hard to ignore the fact that the bullpen is imploding on a regular basis. The club is 14-19 and further under .500 than it was all of last year.

It sounds like it's going to be up to current corps of relievers to get it done. Jerry Narron said he and general manager Wayne Krivsky talked about bringing in new arms before the game. But other than Jared Burton coming up when he's ready, nothing is going to happen.

“We’ll try these guys and give them an opportunity to pitch . . . we’ll stay with these guys,” Narron said. “They’re very capable of getting outs. That’s what we expect out of them.”

Castellini mum on the Reds

CEO Bob Castellini was on the field for batting practice, as far as I can tell it was his first appearance down there since Opening Day. He had an extended conversation with Wayne Krivsky.

I tracked Castellini down afterward, but he didn't want to talk.

"We've just got to come out of this and we will," he said. "Catch me when I'm feeling better."

No moves were made before the game. I'm told nothing is coming anytime soon. But check back after the eighth inning tonight.

Minor matters

Reds teams win 3 of 4 again, from Jamie Ramsey:

Louisville wins big: Ryan Jorgensen with a memorable night, Joey Votto and Dewayne Wise both with 3 hits, Jeff Keppinger extends his hitting streak. Anderson Machado homers. Homer Bailey with 7.0 solid innings, 4 hits, 1 runs.

Chattanooga loses to Carolina: Justin Mallett with a decent outing. Tyler Pelland: 2ip, 6k. Garland Williams with 3 hits (2 triples) and fine defense

Sarasota wins its 3rd straight: Logan Ondrusek impressive. Robert Manuel was lights-out. Mike Griffin swinging a hot bat. Johnny Cueto pitches tonight for the SaraReds.

Dayton wins its 10th straight game: It wasn’t easy – and it took a lot of innings/time…Justin Turner the hero of the night for the Dragons. Logan Parker with 3 hits. Jordan Smith with an excellent outing. Dayton’s bullpen outstanding. Daryl Thompson has been promoted to Sarasota.

Yesterday’s starters: 2-1, 1.50era, 24ip, 15h, 4er, 6bb, 14k


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